This month, celebrate what employees with disabilities bring to UAB

Written by 

by Brooke Carbo

erep aware oct 2023 550px 150dpiEach October, the HR AWARE Disability Management Program recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month, recognizing the contributions of employees with disabilities and highlighting supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices that benefit employers and employees. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the first federal legislation to address access and equity for people with disabilities and a foundation upon which the more comprehensive Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 now stands.

“Celebrating and showcasing what employees with disabilities bring to UAB is our goal during the month of October,” said AWARE Program Coordinator and HR ADA Specialist Dina Jones. “People with disabilities are super creative, they bring a stronger sense of inclusivity and diversity to UAB and the more we learn from them, the better we are at combating common myths around what people with disabilities can do.”

What is AWARE?

The AWARE Program at UAB provides disability-management services when an employee’s job is affected by a physical, mental, or emotional impairment. As part of its retention efforts, the AWARE Program processes requests for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, coordinates worksite evaluations and assigns employee access to UAB’s paratransit service, BlazeRide. For more information, visit

This year, Jones encourages UAB employees to take advantage of several upcoming opportunities to learn how to recognize and engage with individuals with disabilities at UAB.

Upcoming events

UPDATE: Unfortunately, this event must be rescheduled. We will update this story with the new date when it is finalized. On Oct. 17 at noon, Bobbi Stephenson and Cassie Shropshire from the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services will host a virtual training session for UAB employees. Disability Etiquette Training will be offered via Zoom and feature a discussion on the preferred manner of interacting with individuals with disabilities and an overview of varying types of impairments. Participants should be prepared to join with both audio and visual capabilities due to the interactive nature of these presentations.

AWARE is also partnering with the Inclusive Well-Being Translational Sciences Collaborative for the "Normal Isn't Real" Disability Fall Fest on Oct. 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the Campus Green. The event will spotlight the personal stories of students and community members living with disabilities, and organizations and community members will be onsite to promote disability health and share their resources.

Visit throughout the month of October to download shareable handouts with tips on hiring, managing and engaging with employees with disabilities.